Two people wearing yellow safety vests stand next to each other in a forest. They’re both looking at a stack of logged trees.

Taking new action to further improve global responsible forest management

Wood is an important material for a more sustainable society - it’s renewable, recyclable, durable and ages beautifully. IKEA uses wood more than any other material for our products and it plays a vital role in our climate-positive agenda.

We continuously act to make responsible forest management, and smart use of wood, the global industry norm. We achieve this by enforcing strict requirements on our own wood supply and partnering with governments, NGOs, businesses and universities to tackle forest degradation, support laws that combat illegal logging and by driving innovative techniques to use wood mindfully.

For many years, IKEA has developed and used a comprehensive control system to ensure that all wood used in our products meets our critical requirements and legal obligations, which includes steps to fully trace where our wood comes from. It is our responsibility to ensure legality and we do so through several safeguards. If and when irregularities are discovered through our Due Diligence System, we take immediate action. Under no circumstances do we accept wood that does not meet our critical requirements.

Strengthened system of control measures

Worldwide, approximately 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihoods. Forests are some of the most dynamic, changing landscapes on our planet and this is increasing due to climate change. In parallel, demand for forest products is increasing as the world transitions away from virgin fossil fuels placing further pressure on forest resources.

Responsibly managed forest landscapes have the capacity to mitigate climate change, safeguard biodiversity and provide a sustainable wood supply. To reflect the changing situation and increasing pressure on the world’s forests, we are further building upon and strengthening our existing control mechanisms and requirements, especially for forestry high risk countries to maintain legality and ensure that we protect and conserve these resources for generations to come. In line with this approach, we are: 

  • Significantly increasing the volume of audits of our wood supply chains in forestry high risk countries by at least 30%.
  • Developing and introducing new technological solutions to further enhance our traceability mechanisms. For example, we are piloting blockchain technology within our Ukrainian wood supply chains.
  • Increasing our number of unannounced audits at suppliers by at least 20%.
  • Increasing the frequency of desk audits and required level of documentation from suppliers.
  • Increasing our amount of external 3rd party audits by 50% to verify IKEA assessments.
  • Developing the use of forensic tools such as isotope and DNA analysis to verify accuracy of wood sourced for our products.
  • Further expanding our resources to heighten compliance knowledge within IKEA businesses and beyond.
Two people standing together in a forest and talking. One of them has a tablet attached to a chest harness.

A case for further improvement: Sanitary felling

To ensure sustainable practices to maintain forest health, it is crucial that national and local groups representing diverse interests, (environmental organisations, businesses, and social groups), work together, to safeguard that appropriate forest management is applied. We acknowledge that not all systems or forest practices are perfect - in fact they will never be “perfect” - because forests, and their governance, are always changing.

For example, sanitary felling when used correctly is a natural part of responsible forest management where certain trees are harvested if they impact the health of a forest; if the tree is diseased or if the forest is damaged by windstorms, for instance. Unfortunately, for certain forestry high risk countries a lack of clarity on the application of sanitary felling and/or poor oversight, creates the potential to weaken or abuse the forestry practice. For IKEA, this is unacceptable.

Ukraine

This last year, we have worked with local government officials in Ukraine to ensure that sanitary felling does not occur within a period reserved for the mating season of local wildlife. The legal situation on this issue is highly complex and we continue to work to address the issue of conflicting national legislation. Partnering with FSC Ukraine, WWF Ukraine and other environmental groups, we have continued to build awareness and knowledge and participated in dialogues addressing the situation. In parallel, we have continued to further scrutinise our own supply chain through physical and 3rd party audits to ensure the integrity of our own wood supply. We believe some collective progress has been made and support the direct action FSC Ukraine is taking to further improve the situation.

Russia Far East and Siberia

For several years many stakeholders in the forestry sector have observed the misuse of sanitary felling in certain districts of Russia and we support FSC Russia’s public commitment to strengthen the system. Together with our partner, WWF Russia, in 2018 we published a report providing in-depth insights on the issue and recommended stricter measures.

Based on insights from executing our control system, we are not confident that today’s use of sanitary felling is guaranteeing responsible forest management. Therefore, IKEA has decided to temporarily ban the use of sanitary felled wood from Russia Far East and Siberia, effective immediately until the system is sufficiently strengthened. We take this action to raise further awareness on the need for strengthening the application of sanitary felling locally within the districts. IKEA will work together with all stakeholders to address the situation.

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